McKay Interviews With Atlanta

February 14 – Buccaneer Magazine has learned Tampa Bay general manager Rich McKay interviewed with the Atlanta Falcons for a job in the same capacity on Thursday. McKay has one year remaining on his current contract and is scheduled to make $1.8 million. Buccaneers executive vice presidents Joel and Bryan Glazer will likely seek compensation for McKay if Falcons owner Arthur Blank offers him the job.

One day after Bucs general manager Rich McKay met with executive vice presidents Joel and Bryan Glazer at an undisclosed area to discuss McKay's future with the team, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank interviewed McKay for a position in the same capacity on Thursday.

McKay's relationship with the Glazers began to deteriorate a month ago when Tampa Bay's owners fired Tony Dungy on Jan. 14. The Glazers were ready to part ways with McKay in order to sign Bill Parcells as the Buccaneers next head coach, but Parcells left the Glazers at the altar and they turned to McKay hoping he could keep the team's ship afloat.

McKay thought he had found Dungy's replacement a week ago, but the Glazers suddenly overruled McKay's recommendation to hire Marvin Lewis as the team's new head coach.

Although McKay has one year remaining on his contract and is scheduled to earn $1.8 million, the Glazers apparently granted McKay permission to seek other employment in their meeting on Wednesday.

Blank recently purchased the Falcons for $545 million and has been eyeing McKay ever since. Tampa Bay and Atlanta will join each other in the NFC South Division starting next season.

If Blank does indeed lure McKay from Tampa Bay to Atlanta, the Glazers will reportedly seek compensation, which could mean one or more draft picks and or cash.

McKay began his tenure with Tampa Bay in 1992 as vice president of football administration and conducted those job duties until 1994, when he was promoted to general manager.

McKay has since become a co-chairman on the National Football League's competition committee.

In his seven seasons as Tampa Bay's general manager, McKay has been regarded as one of the best draft and salary cap gurus in the league. McKay drafted the likes of Pro Bowl DT Derrick Brooks, DT Warren Sapp, cornerbacks Ronde Barber and Donnie Abraham, FB Mike Alstott and pulled off one of the biggest trades in NFL Draft history in April of 2000 when he traded two first-round selections to the New York Jets in exchange for WR Keyshawn Johnson. McKay has also successfully retained key players by signing them to long-term deals while cleverly avoiding salary cap repercussions.

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